0804139474But the struggle to forgive others is not easy and may never be trivialized or preached lightly. The struggle to forgive, I suspect, is our greatest psychological, moral, and religious struggle. It’s not easy to forgive. Most everything inside us protests. When we have been wronged, when we have suffered an injustice, when someone or something has treated us unfairly, a thousand physical and psychological mechanisms inside us begin to clam up, shut down, freeze over, self-protect, and scream out in protest, anger, and rage. Forgiveness is not something we can simply will and make happen. The heart, as Pascal once said, has its reasons. It also has its rhythms, its paranoia, its cold bitter spots, and its need to seal itself off from whatever has wounded it.
Moreover, all of us have been wounded. No one comes to adulthood with his or her heart fully intact. In ways small or traumatic, we have all been treated unjustly, violated, hurt, ignored, not properly honored, and unfairly cast aside. We all carry wounds and, with those wounds, we all carry some anger, some bitterness, and some areas within which we have not forgiven.
The strength of Henri Nouwen’s greatest book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, was precisely to point out both the hidden cold places in our hearts and the mammoth struggle needed to bring warmth and forgiveness to those places. So much of the lightness or heaviness in our hearts, nearly every nuance of our mood, is unconsciously dictated by either the forgiveness or the unforgiveness inside us. Forgiveness is the deep secret to joy. It is also the ultimate imperative.Wrestling with God: Finding Hope and Meaning in Our Daily Struggles to Be Human, by Ronald Rolheiser
- Forgiveness: One of the Hardest (And Most Important) Things We Can Do for Ourselves and Our Relationships
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Posted October 26, 2019 (Updated Oct 26, 2019) by